Sunday, January 10, 2010

Have I really told her she was adopted....

Ummm nope. I am not sure I have even said "adopted", I have told Sophie that she was born in China, that she lived for sometime with the man holding her (foster father) in one picture and then with her friends at the SWI in China. I have told her that Mommy and Daddy went to China to bring her home etc. I have started telling her that she grew in her birth mothers tummy...she has no frame of reference for one I know is pregnant. She looks at me like I have lost my mind...."Mama food goes in your tummy not babies"..... God help me.

Here is a great post that discusses if we have really told our children that they were adopted. Thanks Malinda!!

has posted about Gotcha day and about some kids adoption books that miss the mark. If you are looking for a great book that talks about" the night you were born" here is a great book. "On the Night You Were Born"....I love love love this book. There is no Mommy or Daddy in this book it is all about the baby, and the wind, the stars and animals. Love it.

"On the night you were born, the moon smiled with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered,..."


Anonymous said...

Good post. Maddie knows she is adopted and that she has a ChinaMom. We honestly tell her we don't know why ChinaMom could not care for her and we will never know. She also knows that she lived in the orphanage until the 'paperwork people' said it was ok for us to bring her home. She loves to tell people that Connor only grew in Mama's tummy but she grew in everyone's heart as we all waited for her AND in ChinaMom's tummy.
Maddie remembers China and tells us about it at times still, so we have always had to use the word adopted. We don't celebrate 'gotcha' day but we talk about the day we finally met her because it was on her Daddy's birthday. She loves being 'Daddy's best present.'
Interestingly enough, one day during our chats about ChinaMom, Maddie looked at me and said "I only grew in her tummy, YOU are my Mama and she is ChinaMom."
Ok then.

t~ said...

Thanks for the book recommendation!

Heather said...

Show her those pictures on my blog of when I was pregnant with the boys - that's a visual for her!

Like others, we tell Lillie we don't know why her birthmom couldn't take care of her. She's not really processing the birthmom thing yet, but she is very aware of her foster mom and dad's place in her history.

Lindsay said...

Hannah thinks all babies are adopted! :) When a pregnant friend gave birth recently she kept taking about Auntie S. adopting baby L. She knows we are adopting her baby sister soon and uses the word a lot. I talk about 'when I adopted you' and 'when you came home' etc. but I know there is no cognitive awareness yet of what that means. What I haven't done is make much mention of birth mothers: some, but very little, and nothing about relinquishment. I'm really unsure how and when to raise that.

I am really impressed with what is sinking in even at such a young age, and what giving them the language young helps with. Recently a friends older son (7) asked Hannah (2) why she didn't have a daddy and she straight away said she has 2 uncles in her family and 'you don't' We followed it up with our standard 'all families are different' line.

Thanks for posting about this and making me think about what I do need to add to our discussions.

Moore, Moore, Moore! said...

One of my most favorite books and Gabriel loooves it too! He loves to wiggle his toes and say his name in a whisper!

The Gang's Momma! said...

Love the recommendation - I've added it to my Wishlist :)

We're just now beginning intentional conversations, via reading books together, about the means by which Li'l Empress came to be our daughter. But she's only 2 and we are still learning our way through this. This is one of the things I love about this IA blogging community!

We've never NOT said the words of adoption, and all that is related to it, we've just NOT YET made it a point to emphasize it. We chose to be more focused this first year on settling in, attaching and knowing each other. This year, we are turning our focus to developing our family's lingo for discussing it.

I'm leaning strongly toward (but not exclusively!) the same means by which we've handled the whole "Birds and Bees" conversation: it's a natural part of our regular conversations, nothing "big eventful talk" about it here, and develops out of naturally occurring daily conversations. (Sometimes I know I'll have to force the envelope a bit to meet the intentions we seek.)

Obviously for adoption we'll be tweaking it and going more in depth when appropriate. And lucky for us, we still have several folks in our lives who are facing puberty, getting pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or will be giving birth while she is still young and growing in her understanding of adoption, pregnancy, building a family, developing and so on.

The two conversations so far have ebbed and flowed in and out of each other nicely for the older kids when we were prepping them for the adoption journey. We'll just have to be very intentional to build on the events as they happen and keep sharing as we learn. (As if it's as easy to do as it was to type that! Ha!)

The Gang's Momma! said...

We're also very fortunate to be surrounded by folks who have adopted, will be adopting, or are waiting for a child now, so that community exposure helps (and will help more) as we are feeling our way through this!

Tapestry Books said...

Probably the most asked about conversation is "how to talk about adoption with your child". Tapestry Books has some helpful Adoption Videos:
Talking to Your child About Adoption ages 0-6 Years.

The main point being that depending on the age of your child, it may be a conversation you can think about in terms of how it feels to you, and recognize that it will take them time to understand the concept of adoption.

At Tapestry we believe Adoption Books are a great facilitator of the conversation.

If we can offer personal book recommendation we are happy to help.

Kris said...

thanks for the book rec.

we talk about adoption and the fact that E was adopted anytime we look through our photos from China or her lifebook that Hope made for her. She doesn't get it yet, but we don't hesitate to use the word, I guess I just want her to be "familiar" with it? So that when the time comes to really talk about it, maybe she'll have a better sense.

Kris said...

ps. i love your approach! and i look so forward to the day M-n-M is fluent in English :O) it will help, of course.

Kudo said...

"life will never be the same"

My favorite line is:

Because there had never been anyone like you ever in the world.

LOVE LOVE this book!

I wonder if it is why Annalise has such a connection with the moon and the stars. She may think that is where she came from.